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Ijaara dam

The challenge:  Somaliland is a water-scarce country with no perennial rivers flowing in it. This makes groundwater and surface water the main sources for most people in Somaliland. Recurring droughts coupled with climate change have created severe water shortage that has not only affected humans but also contributed to poor livestock production which is the economic mainstay of the country. Developing rainwater harvesting infrastructure, managing underground water storage, and making water accessible to the largest number are the main challenges facing the nation. 

Pharo Construction Limited (PCL) was hired by Pharo Foundation to help solve this challenge in the Gabiley region of Somaliland where locals have been known to travel up to 20km away in pursuit of water during the dry season. In awarding PCL this project, the Foundation was keen that Ventures create jobs for locals and develop their skills. PCL was tasked with building Ijaara dam in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

Our response: PCL was very glad to celebrate the completion of Ijaara dam in October 2023 - a year after being awarded the project by the Foundation. The dam now stands as one of the Foundation’s most impressive water projects to date and allowed PCL to show its expertise and the knowledge and techniques the team can implement in the construction of large-scale water projects. 

In the building of this, PCL demonstrated its innovation by pioneering the methodology of ‘battered excavation’. Where space allows, battering the excavation sides to a safe angle of repose makes the excavation safer because the likelihood of a trench collapse is reduced. While competitors tended to dig dams down to six-metres of depth, PCL only did so to a two-metre depth in Ijaara dam, which improves health and safety.  

The dam is a fully integrated 60,000 cubic metre, Hafir dam with geo membrane installation, an elevated reinforced concrete tank, animal water troughs, kiosks for drinking water, a concrete inlet and concrete spillway, a security room, a pump room, solar panels, a fence and sanitation facilities. 

To learn more about how and why we built the dam please visit our social media.